1 Kings 17:8-16 (NRSV)

8 Then the word of the LORD came to him, 9 “Arise, go to Zar’ephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to feed you.” 10 So he arose and went to Zar’ephath; and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Bring me a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.” 11 And as she was going to bring it, he called to her and said, “Bring me a morsel of bread in your hand.” 12 And she said, “As the LORD your God lives, I have nothing baked, only a handful of meal in a jar, and a little oil in a cruse; and now, I am gathering a couple of sticks, that I may go in and prepare it for myself and my son, that we may eat it, and die.” 13 And Eli’jah said to her, “Fear not; go and do as you have said; but first make me a little cake of it and bring it to me, and afterward make for yourself and your son. 14 For thus says the LORD the God of Israel, ‘The jar of meal shall not be spent, and the cruse of oil shall not fail, until the day that the LORD sends rain upon the earth.'” 15 And she went and did as Eli’jah said; and she, and he, and her household ate for many days. 16 The jar of meal was not spent, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the LORD which he spoke by Eli’jah.   

John 13:15 (NRSV)

15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do as I have done to you.

DEVOTION – Wendy Baker (North Carolina)

For me, cooking has never been easy.  I have no natural talent for creating beautiful, tasty dishes for my family.  Because of my continued failures in the kitchen, cooking soon became a stressful chore.

I began to pray daily, asking God to provide me with patience and talent, but God’s answer was not more talent.  It was a change of attitude.  God revealed that providing nutritious food for my family is a ministry.  As shown in the Bible, a ministry is not always easy and does not have to be perfect to be effective.  Tying a shoe, washing a dish, writing a letter, mowing a lawn – theses area all activities that minister to someone’s basic need with kindness, love, and compassion.  If Jesus ministered to his disciples by washing their feet, I reasoned, it is really so unpleasant for me to cook a meal ?

I re-entered my kitchen with a new attitude of ministry, not misery, and the results have been amazing.  The time I spend preparing and cleaning all speak to the true nature of Jesus’ love for us, an attitude of service that we pass on to the ones we love and that they in turn pass on to others.  My meals are far from perfect, but they are served with hands and heart that show God’s love in action.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY: We show God’s love when we minister to others.

PRAYER: O Lord, strengthen us as we minister to others.  Amen.